|Publication number||US20030155745 A1|
|Application number||US 10/078,563|
|Publication date||Aug 21, 2003|
|Filing date||Feb 20, 2002|
|Priority date||Feb 20, 2002|
|Also published as||US6830260|
|Publication number||078563, 10078563, US 2003/0155745 A1, US 2003/155745 A1, US 20030155745 A1, US 20030155745A1, US 2003155745 A1, US 2003155745A1, US-A1-20030155745, US-A1-2003155745, US2003/0155745A1, US2003/155745A1, US20030155745 A1, US20030155745A1, US2003155745 A1, US2003155745A1|
|Original Assignee||Everett Richard C.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (6), Classifications (15), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 The background of the invention will be discussed in two parts.
 1. Field of the Invention
 This invention relates to infant strollers, and more particularly to a three-wheeled jogging stroller that may be utilized during jogging or running exercise and that is easily foldable for transit and storage.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 With physical fitness in mind, some infant strollers have evolved into primarily three-wheeled vehicles that can be utilized while jogging or running. Generally referred to as jogging strollers, the user, while pushing the infant, or infants, therein, may conveniently exercise by jogging or running. The typical three-wheeled jogging stroller is configured with a frame assembly formed of tubular aluminum for vehicular strength and light weight, one or two seats usually of a flexible cloth-like material, and pneumatic spoked-wheel tires. The two rear wheels are often of a diameter approximating that of an elementary school child's bicycle with the front wheel of the same or somewhat smaller diameter. Some such jogging strollers have been designed and configured for folding, disassembly, or a combination of both, thus providing for convenience and versatility in transportation and storage.
 Various jogging strollers having mechanisms for folding the strollers are known in the art and generally include frame member connecting means for retaining the stroller frame members in non-folded state and release means for folding, or collapsing, the stroller frame members into a convenient configuration for transportation or storage. Some such folding mechanisms are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,536,033 issued to Paul Hinkston on Jul. 16, 1996, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,887,889 issued to Michael Andrus on Mar. 30, 1999, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,302,613 B1 issued to Red Lan on Oct. 16, 2001, and in U.S. Pat. No. 6,267,405 B1 issued to Chin-Chiao Chen on Jul. 31, 2001. Such devices are illustrative of the varied arrangements whereby attempts have been made to improve the folding, or collapsing of jogging strollers for ease of transit and storage.
 However, the prior art folding devices remain limited in optimum folding characteristics such as ease of operation and simplicity of design. What is needed is a fblding mechanism providing for improved folding of jogging strollers that is safe, dependable and more user friendly under different folding conditions.
 It is thus an aspect of the present invention to provide a new and improved jogging stroller having a folding mechanism providing for improved folding characteristics, more user-friendly operation, and greater variation and flexibility under different folding conditions.
 It is another aspect of the invention to provide a three-wheeled jogging stroller with a user-friendly foldable frame for an infant that may be utilized during jogging exercise and that is easily foldable for transit and storage.
 It is also an aspect of the invention to provide a jogging stroller with removable wheels and a foldable or collapsible frame which may be readily assembled and disassembled, and which stroller is compact, stable and lightweight.
 In accordance with another aspect of the invention, there is provided a folding mechanism such that a jogging stroller with removable wheels and a foldable or collapsible frame may be more readily folded and disassembled, for storage and transportation.
 In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a folding mechanism for a three-wheeled jogging stroller that is simple in design, easily accessed and simple in operation to thus provide improved folding for transit and storage.
 In accordance with the invention there is provided a three-wheeled jogging stroller having a foldable, or collapsible frame assembly that is transformable from a collapsed, position of reduced length and height to an erected, or upright, user position. The foldable frame assembly includes a base, or lower structural assembly, and an upper structural assembly. The base includes a Tear axle assembly having a member of an enlarged diameter tubular construction with couples at opposite ends thereof for supporting de-mountable or removable large diameter spoked wheel pneumatic tires. The rear axle assembly has a fork assembly pivotally coupled thereto and a pair of upright support members. The fork assembly includes a pair of generally parallel fork members supporting the front wheel at one end thereof, and at the other end the fork members are pivotally coupled to the rear axle member by means of crank or clevis members. The pivotable coupling is displaced, or offset, a given distance from the axis of the rear axle member, so that on folding the fork and the upright support members are generally parallel to one another.
 The upper structural assembly includes a handlebar assembly including a generally U-shaped handlebar member and handlebar tubes hingedly attached to the free ends of the U-shaped member. The U-shaped member has a brake lever for a caliper type brake which engages the rim of the front wheel. The U-shaped handlebar member is hingedly attached at each free end thereof to the handlebar tubes for folding down, or collapsing, the U-shaped member so that it is underneath and substantially parallel to the handlebar tubes. The other, or free, ends of each of the handlebar tubes are fixedly coupled to an interconnect member that is pivotally coupled to the free end of a respective upright member extending from the rear axle member. Substantially parallel tubes are at one end slidably engaged with a respective interconnect member and at the other end to a footrest. The interconnect member has hold and release means for holding the upper frame in an upright user position and for releasing the interconnect member to slide down the respective tube to collapse the upper frame over the base frame. Additional tubes each have first ends thereof pivotally coupled to support members attached at the forward end of the fork, the other ends of each of the tubes being fixedly coupled to the footrest.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a reading of the specification, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like elements in the several views.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the foldable infant jogging stroller according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a left side elevational view of the foldable frame of the stroller of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a left side elevational view of the foldable frame of the stroller of FIG. 1 showing the handlebar in a folded position;
FIG. 4 is a left side elevational view of the stroller foldable frame of FIG. 1 showing the interconnect member partially displaced along a frame member in collapsing the stroller;
FIG. 5 is a left side elevational view of the foldable frame of the stroller of FIG. 1 showing the interconnect member completely displaced along a frame member to collapse the stroller,
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the interconnection mechanism in accordance with the invention showing the interconnect member, slidable frame member with hold and release mechanism, and in phantom portions of the upright support tubes and handlebar frame portions;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the interconnect member of FIG. 6 taken along the line 6-6 thereof;
FIG. 8 is a side view of the interconnect member of FIG. 6 locked in the erect or user position;
FIG. 9 is a side view of the interconnect member of FIG. 6 released as indicated in FIG. 4;
FIG. 10 is a side view of the interconnect member of FIG. 6 released as indicated in FIG. 5;
FIG. 11 is a front elevational view of the stroller of FIG. 1;
FIG. 12 is a rear elevational view of the stroller FIG. 1;
FIG. 13 is a top plan view of the stroller of Figure; and
FIG. 14 is a bottom plan view of the stroller FIG. 1.
 Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, in accordance with the invention there is shown a three-wheeled jogging stroller having a foldable, or collapsible frame assembly that is transformable from a collapsed, position of reduced length and height to an erected, or upright, user position.
 The foldable frame assembly, generally designated 10, includes a base, or lower structural assembly, generally designated 20, and an upper structural frame assembly, generally designated 30. The base assembly 20 includes a rear axle member 22 of an enlarged diameter tubular construction with couples at opposite ends thereof for supporting identical de-mountable or removable large diameter spoked wheel pneumatic tires 28. The base assembly further includes a pair of upright support members 24, 26, and a fork assembly, generally designated 21 pivotally coupled thereto. As will be further explained hereinbelow, the free ends of upright members 24, 26, are pivotally coupled respectively to interconnect members 54, 56.
 The fork assembly 21 includes a pair of generally parallel fork tubes 21 a, 21 b, supporting the front wheel 29 at one end thereof, and at the other end the fork tubes are pivotally coupled to the rear axle member by means of couplers 52 a, 52 b. Couplers 52 a, 52 b, may be of any convenient configuration allowing for upright members 24, 26 to be folded forwardly over wheel support frame 22 as illustrated in FIG. 5. As shown, the pivotable couplers 52 a, 52 b are displaced, or offset, a given distance from the center of the rear axle member 22, so that on folding, the upright support members 24, 26 fold downwardly to the outside of the fork assembly 21 to approach a near parallel relationship. In the embodiment illustrated couplers 52 a, 52 b are formed of a tubular portion that encircles and is secured to the structural tube 40 a, and a stub portion for pivotally accepting and securing fork members 42 a, 42 b.
 The upper structural assembly includes a handlebar assembly including a generally planar U-shaped handlebar member 32 and planar handlebar tubes 33, 34, attached by hinges 35, 36, to the free ends of the U-shaped member 32. By means of hinges 35, 36. U-shaped member 32 can be folded down, or collapsed, so that, as shown in FIG. 3, it is underneath and substantially parallel to the handlebar tubes 33, 34, The other, or free, ends of the handlebar tubes 33, 34, are fixedly coupled respectively to interconnect members 54, 56. The U-shaped member 32 has a brake lever assembly, generally designated 27, for a caliper type brake 27 a that engages the rim of the front wheel 29, and may have handle-gripping material (not shown) as appropriate. The free ends of U-shaped member 32 are further apart than the interconnect members 54, 56, thus handlebar tubes 33, 34 have identical curvature inwardly to properly mate with interconnects 54, 56.
 As shown in FIG. 2, U-shaped member 32, by means of hinges 35, 36, is directed away from the plane of planar tubes 33, 34, to become nearly parallel, and has an upturned pushing portion 32 a to which braking mechanism 27 is attached substantially at the center thereof. The more horizontal orientation of the U-shaped member 32 and upturned pushing portion 32 a contribute to more comfortable and optimum pushing force toward the axis of the front wheel 29.
 Substantially parallel tubes 37, 38, are at one end slidably engaged with interconnect members 54, 56, respectively, and at the other end to a footrest 40. As shown more clearly in FIG. 6, each interconnect member 54, 56, has associated a hold and release assembly, generally designated 70, on the free end of its respective tube 37, 38. The hold and release assemblies are operable to hold the upper frame in an upright user position or for releasing the interconnect member to slide down the respective tube to thereby collapse the upper frame onto the base frame as shown in FIG. 5.
 Additional tubes 40 a, 40 b each have first ends fixedly coupled to the footrest 40 and then are converged inwardly for coupling the other ends thereof to parallel fork tubes 21 a, 21 b supporting the front wheel 29. The coupling to the wheel is in any conventional manner and of the type used in bicycles having quick-release wheels.
 Footrest 40 is formed of a generally trapezoidally configured plate-shaped injected plastic material, it has the forward end thereof bent upwardly with a portion formed in cup-like manner over front wheel 29. The upraised or bent portion serves as a splash-guard in the event the front wheel comes into contact with ground water during use. Footrest 40 is dimensioned for snugly attaching, such as by welding or riveting, to opposite sides of the parallel tubes 37, 38, to provide additional front end stability.
 Referring to FIGS. 6-10, and particularly to FIGS. 6 and 7, there is shown the stroller folding mechanism of the invention consisting of interconnects 54, 56, and their associated hold and release assemblies attached to tubes 37, 38. By reference to one interconnect, in FIG. 5 there is shown interconnect 56 having a saddle-shaped main body portion 56 a and a depending clevis portion 56 b, Main body portion 56 a is configured and dimensioned for receiving the free end of handlebar tube 34, shown in phantom, that is fixedly positioned and secured therein with first and second bolts 63 and nuts 64. Interconnect 56 further includes aperture 57 for slidably receiving upper frame tube 38 therethrough.
 Clevis portion 56 b pivotally receives, in any appropriate manner, the free end of upright tube 26, shown in phantom. Although not shown, the distal end of upright 26 is terminated with a bar-shaped flange portion of a thickness less than the diameter of the upright tube 26 and slightly less than the distance between opposing sidewalls of the clevis 56 b. The flange has an aperture therethrough for alignment with like sized aperture 60 extending through the walls of the clevis 56 b. The aperture 60 is dimensioned for receiving a suitable fastener, such as a bolt 61 and nut 62 for pivotally connecting the distal end of the upright tube 26 to clevis portion 56 b.
 The hold and release mechanism for holding the stroller in an erect position and for releasing tube 38 for folding of the upper frame assembly includes catch and release assembly, generally designated 70, and release pushbutton 80. Hold and release assembly 70 includes sleeve 71 press-fitted over the free end of tube 38 and locking button 73 and spring 73 a inserted within tube 38. Except for sleeve cap 71 a, sleeve 71 has a diameter less than the diameter of aperture 57 and can be tapered rearwardly upward to cap 71 a to facilitate movement of sleeve 71 in and out of aperture 57. Locking button 73 is mounted onto generally V-shaped spring 73 a, thee spring 73 a dimensioned and positioned for continued spring tension within the interior of tube 38 to maintain locking button 73 protruding through aperture 72 in sleeve 71. In the erect, or non-folded state, sleeve 71 is fully inserted into aperture 57 with locking button 73 forced into interconnect aperture 85 by spring 73 a to thereby lock the upper frame into the erect position.
 Release pushbutton 80 is securely and slidably positioned within button holder 81, holder 81 mounted onto interconnect 56 over aperture 85 and secured by bolts 83 and nuts 84. Pushbutton 80 is has a contact tip configured and dimensioned for penetrating aperture 85 and has sufficient freedom of depression, or free-floating movement, within holder 81 to disengage locking button 73 to thereby allow sleeve 71 to be released from interconnect 56. This in turn allows for sliding of the interconnect 56 downwardly alone the tube 38 to thereby fold the upper frame over the lower assembly as shown in FIG. 5.
 Thus, in the erected state, interconnect 56 is slid upwardly along tube 38 until sleeve 71 is inserted into aperture 85 and locking button 73 is forced into aperture 85 under tension from spring 73 a to thereby lock the stroller into the erect state. For folding, pushbutton 80 is depressed to disengage locking button 73 from aperture 85 to permit sliding of interconnect 56 downwardly to the folding position.
FIG. 2 shows the stroller in the fully erect, or useable, state with FIG. 8 showing the corresponding position of upright tube 26 within interconnect 56. FIGS. 3 through 5 show the frame assembly at various steps of folding. In FIG. 3 the handlebar portion 34 is pivoted clockwise into an underlying proximate position relative to the lower handlebar tubes 33, 34. In FIG. 4, the interconnects 35, 36, are released by pushbutton 80 to slide along tubes 37, 38, and uprights 24, 26, are pivoted counter-clockwise downwardly toward fork members 42 a, 42 b by pivoting at the upper ends thereof within interconnects 54, 56. FIG. 9 shows the corresponding new position of upright tube 26 pivoted within interconnect 56. In FIG. 5 interconnects 35, 36, are slid further along rubes 37, 38 into approximate abutting relationship to footrest 40 and uprights 24, 26, are pivoted downwardly to the fullest extent alongside tubes 21 a, 21 b until the compact frame arrangement is achieved. FIG. 10 shows the corresponding position of upright tube 26 pivoted within interconnect 56 to the fully folded state of the stroller.
 The upright tube 26 is received within the clevis portion 56 b and pivotally coupled thereto, such as by bolt and nut 61, 62. The upright tube 26 pivotable from a first operative position as shown in FIG. 8 to various states of folding of the stroller as shown in FIGS. 8 through 10.
 The saddle of the main body portion 56 a has a depth and length sufficient to enable opposing sidewalls to receive a significant length of tube 34 snugly and fully therein in the depth-wise and length-wise directions. This provides stability at the coupling location so that wobbling and rattling is eliminated and the body portion 56 and tube 34 act as an integral unit during use.
 The push handlebar portion 32 is generally U-shaped with opposing sides converging toward the front for engagement with hinges 35, 36. A gripping portion 32 a is provided at the bight thereof and may have gripping material appropriately wrapped in opposite directions from the center and extending around the corners. Centrally located on the bight portion is a lockable brake lever 27 a for operation of a front wheel 29 caliper type brake 27 c via a brake cable 27 b. In the operative positions, the U-shaped handlebar portion is substantially horizontal with upturned push portion 32 a having the braking mechanism 27 attached substantially at the center thereof. The more horizontal orientation of the U-shaped member 32 and upturned pushing portion 32 a contribute to more comfortable and optimum pushing force toward the axis of the front wheel 29.
 FIGS. 11-14 more clearly illustrate certain elements and features of the stroller of the invention. For instance, FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate how the rear wheels are canted to provide for improved stability and roadworthiness, and footrest 40 and the positioning of tubes 40 a and 40 b is more clearly illustrated. Also, the configuration of U-shaped handlebar 32, hinges 35, 63, and tubes 33, 34, is better illustrated.
 The construction of the jogger stroller 10 is of aluminum tubing that, with the exception of the axle tube 22 are of the same diameter, thus effecting economies of assembly. Further, with the exception of the handlebar portions 32, 33, and 34, the tubular stock consists of straight or linear lengths of material. The interconnects are formed of injected plastic of wall thickness sufficient to provide the required strength and stability at points of connection and configured to include pivot axes for providing support in the lengthwise directions of the tubes during operation of the stroller. The spacing between opposing walls closely approximate the diameter of the tube sections for lateral as well as lengthwise stability. In use, the stroller 10 is stable and efficient in the use of the energy of the operator, whether while walking, jogging or running.
 While there has been shown and described a preferred embodiment, it is understood that other adaptations and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Further, although the description has utilized directional references, such a up, down, left, right, upwardly, downwardly, etc, these terms are utilized with reference to the orientations in the figures and are not intended to be limiting.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6886839 *||Aug 27, 2002||May 3, 2005||Richard C Everett||Foldable jogging stroller|
|US7077420||Feb 4, 2005||Jul 18, 2006||American Recreation Products, Inc.||Foldable three-wheeled jogging stroller|
|US20060175803 *||Feb 4, 2005||Aug 10, 2006||American Recreation Products, Inc.||Foldable three-wheeled jogging stroller|
|US20150065310 *||Jun 4, 2014||Mar 5, 2015||Michael Scott Quinn||Bicycle-mounted exercise apparatus|
|EP1671869A2 *||Nov 29, 2005||Jun 21, 2006||Jané S.A.||A foldable chassis for prams|
|EP1849680A2 *||Apr 27, 2007||Oct 31, 2007||Lerado (Zhong Shan) Industrial Co., Ltd.||Baby stroller frame|
|International Classification||B62B5/04, B62B7/06, B62B7/04, B62B9/20, B62B7/10|
|Cooperative Classification||B62B5/0438, B62B9/20, B62B7/044, B62B2205/20, B62B7/10, B62B7/068|
|European Classification||B62B7/06U, B62B7/10, B62B9/20|
|Jun 23, 2008||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Dec 14, 2008||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Feb 3, 2009||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20081214